Phrenological head of William Dodd

Made:
1810-1830 in United Kingdom
maker:
Unknown

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Plaster phrenological head, possibly of Dr Dodd, a forger, 19th century. William Dodd (1729-1777) began his career as a
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Plaster phrenological head, possibly of Dr Dodd, a forger, 19th century. William Dodd (1729-1777) began his career as a
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Plaster phrenological head, unsigned, possibly of Dr William Dodd, a forger, United Kingdom, 1801-1900.

William Dodd (1729–1777) began his career as a preacher and a writer. He was a moderately successful preacher but a literary failure. He enjoyed a lavish lifestyle and often spent beyond his means. He forged £4,200 in 1777 to pay off his debts. He was quickly arrested and confessed his crime. Dodd was found guilty of capital forgery at the Old Bailey in London. This crime carried the death sentence. Over 23,000 people campaigned to save him from what they thought was a harsh punishment. However, Dodd was hanged on June 27, 1777.

Casts like this were often taken of executed criminals by phrenologists. They believed the shape and size of various areas of the brain (and therefore the skull) determined personality. Heads like this were often part of larger phrenological reference sets. These also included famous people and people of different races.

On display

Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

If you are visiting to see this object, please contact us in advance to make sure that it will be on display.

Details

Category:
Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
Object Number:
1992-34/9
type:
phrenological head
credit:
Philip Mutton ARICS

Cite this page

Rights

We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.


Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero


Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data

Download

Download catalogue entry as json

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.